How to Enhance Your Data Center Power Management Strategy

The Uptime Institute’s Global 2022 Data Center Survey found that while the number of serious or severe outages has decreased, the cost of those outages is rising. 25% of respondents noted that their most recent downtime incident cost more than $1 million USD. Power issues were identified as the biggest cause of outages, with 44% of operators saying power was the primary cause of their most recent impactful outage.

You may be thinking that it’s not exactly breaking news that outages are costly, significant to business continuity, and power often plays a major part. That’s true.

What is new is that data center operators have more and more tools at their disposal to safeguard against data center risk. Read on to learn how Cadence’s physics-based data center simulation software 6SigmaDCX provides significant insights into power management and the follow-on effects of power failure on data center cooling infrastructure.

Core Power Functionality in 6SigmaDCX

The 6SigmaDCX software includes a range of powered devices, such as PDUs, UPSs, and RPPs, in its expansive item library. These pre-made objects make it easy to quickly build a model and, in this case, a power network.

The power network diagrams in 6SigmaDCX follow industry-standard power planning diagrams, making them ideal for the effective management of power connections from utilities to IT equipment ports. The software includes tabular power schedules to display breaker panels holding information for PDUs and RPPs.

The 6SigmaDCX software’s power network can be integrated with power planning and monitoring systems to ensure live power, as well as any updates to device power and connections, are automatically reflected in the software.

The software’s web tool uses a traffic light system that provides a quick “go or no-go” assessment on IT deployment. The traffic light system considers power, cooling, and space requirements for the user, helping to identify suitable locations for the deployment.

Significantly, 6SigmaDCX offers customizable testing of power failures within its data center power management feature. The software reports cascade failures and effects on device power and cooling infrastructure. The software can perform transient analysis for cooling device power failures. Cooling unit failures can be simulated over time to replicate an electrical failure. In this way, the software can uncover the affected IT temperatures.

power failure

Figure 1: Power failure of a PDU and the affected IT equipment, displayed in red.

The data center cooling units, fans, and devices powering the cooling units can be switched off in the virtual data center digital twin model to demonstrate how the actual facility will perform if there is ever a failure in a specific unit. The time-based simulation will demonstrate the room temperature increase over time as well as the recovery process when rebooted. (The user can specify the time for a reboot.) It is important to note that chilled water temperatures after failure can also be plotted over time.

The software can also demonstrate how upcoming projects will impact the power system. With multiple people planning deployments at the same time, the digital twin model provides an up-to-date view of all the plans in one place, ensuring that the combination of all adds, moves, and decommissions do not cause a trip on a power strip, breaker, or breaker panel.

New Functionality in Release 17

Within the operational web tool, our latest software release—Release 17—offers more options to manipulate the power management strategy and infrastructure. Users can perform minor power changes in the operational web tool for greater power management detail, such as:

  • Viewing and editing panel schedules, where breakers can be added, moved, or deleted from RPP and PDU breaker panels. Breakers can be designated to single-phase, 2-pole, and 3-phase to allow for communication downstream to cabinets.  
  • Adding rack-mounted power strips, including data on socket types (C19, C13, or other), phase, and overload currents
  • Selecting and editing the PDU object

Connected Pannel Schedules image

Figure 2: Panel schedule and PDU view in 6SigmaDCX.

Learn More

While outages are still happening far too often and power continues to play a major part, operators can take steps right now to streamline their power management strategy and safeguard their data center by investing in data center software. Learn more about how our latest release helps data center teams overcome the thermal and capacity management challenges of today and tomorrow.

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20 April, 2023

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